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Illuminating Design: The History of Murano

murano lamps online
Murano lighting has become part of the Anemone Interiors DNA since launch; stocking a wide range of vintage murano lamps, chandeliers and pendants from across the Murano design history, sourced from specialist dealers and private residents across Europe.

Murano to me is the interior design equivalent of being in a sweetie shop, from the pretty swirling pastels to jewel-like ornate, coloured-glass confections. Whether you love the simple silhouette of the iconic 20th-century mushroom lamp or the intricate charm of a Barovier & Toso heritage design - the beauty of Murano is in its marriage of lighting and sculpture to create statement design pieces for the home that deliver both form and function.

Below I've shared a bit more about Murano's heritage in the lagoons of Venice, plus more about the styles of Murano we have in stock at Anemone and ideas on how to style them in your own home.

The Origins of Murano Glass Lighting

The story of Murano glass begins on the small Venetian island of Murano, Italy, where, in the late 13th century, Venetian Officials demanded that all glassmakers relocate to, to prevent the risk of fire. This decision unintentionally birthed an artistic enclave, allowing Murano's glass artisans to flourish and perfect their craft in isolation.

The techniques and skills developed on Murano Island became closely guarded secrets, passed down through generations of master craftsmen. Murano glass evolved from simple household items to intricate and ornate pieces, capturing the attention of the aristocracy and elite across Europe and putting the tiny island of Murano on the design map forever.

Famous Murano Glass Makers

Several names stand out in Murano glass history, many of whom we are lucky enough to stock at Anemone. Barovier & Toso is thought to be the oldest glass company in Italy, dating back to as far as 1295, and we have a beautiful 1950s example, with mint detailing. Perfect as a statement centrepiece over a dining table, or in a large hallway.

Enter the Murano Mushroom Lamp - a style icon

murano mushroom lamp

Of all the Murano glass creations, the mushroom lamp stands out as an iconic and beloved design, and a definite favourite with Anemone customers. This distinctive lamp, characterized by its cartoon-like silhouette resembling a mushroom cap, gained popularity in the mid-20th century.

The mushroom lamp found its most celebrated expression through the work of Ermanno Toso, a member of the renowned Toso family. His designs often featured vibrant colours and intricate patterns, adding a touch of enchantment to interiors around the world. They give a gorgeous glow to any room, but are particularly calming in a bedroom setting.

Shop Murano Mushroom Lamp

Murano Lighting Design - a kaleidoscope of colours and style

murano vintage lighting online

The joy and rich design history of Murano glass lighting is characterised by its diversity of styles, ranging from classic and ornate to avant-garde and contemporary. The island's artisans have each contributed over the centuries to the collective name of Murano with their own signature styles.

Some of these techniques have become more well-known as 'iconically Murano', including latticino which involves twisting and stretching colored canes into intricate swirling designs, like our pair of toffee table lamps above. These would look amazing at either end of a sofa, or singly on a console table.

A beautiful irridescence glow is achieved by holding the glass over the vapours of melted metals, like tin and titanium to create the pearlescent effect in these 1970s wall lights. They are perfect in a bathroom setting as they give a gentle, flattering light.

Shop the full collection of Murano Lighting at Anemone Interiors